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I have a paper due tonight, and I have done my part. I have also volunteered to compile the texts from the other authors and hand it all in (there's four of us). I have all texts except one and frankly don't expect to get it on time (our internal deadline was two days ago.)

How should I handle this situation? Leave the whole section empty, with an explanatory editor's note? Just take it out? Send an explanatory email to my lecturer?

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" my lecturer" - I am assuming that this is coursework rather than a published article. You should ask your lecturer what to do. The earlier you do this the better chance you have for dispensation. The practicality of any possible solution depends on the exact nature of the work. You have tried to chase it up with the last co-author too, right? – Moriarty Jul 15 '14 at 9:50
Yes, this is internal work, not a scientific paper. And, yes, chasing up (including thinly veiled death threats) has not been successful so far. – Ingmar Jul 15 '14 at 10:00
I disagree with the votes to close. – JeffE Jul 15 '14 at 13:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The correct answer is not to wait until two days before the deadline to check in on your co-author's progress. Presumably this is no longer an option.

If the section is not necessary, take it out. If it is necessary, you and your non-tardy co-authors can try to get together and do it together before the final deadline.

You should certainly tell the tardy co-author what you plan to do (I mean the collective "you," as in you and your other co-authors).

If the tardy co-author's contribution doesn't make it in before the final deadline, then his name won't go on it either.

Note that if this was a paper being submitted for publication, e.g. a conference submission, and not for school, you would likely just miss this deadline entirely and have to wait to submit to another conference.

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if this was a paper being submitted for publication ... you would likely just miss this deadline entirely True, but I also don't get saddled with (contributing) co-authors that I have no choice in ... – Ingmar Jul 15 '14 at 10:16
@Ingmar I also don't get saddled with (contributing) co-authors that I have no choice in - not always true – ff524 Jul 15 '14 at 10:16
Thank you for your input. He did come through at the 11th hour, by the way, so for the time being this was just an academic exercise, if you will. – Ingmar Jul 16 '14 at 19:23

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